Lewis Jones story.1800’s Brown Co. OH to Warren Co. IN Jones, Pitzer, Slack, Garland.The following history written by Lewis Jones in Warren Co. IN came from William Wilkinson, who corresponded with my sister in 1993.I haven’t been able to contact Mr. Wilkinson, but he was very generous in sharing this information with us, so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind my writing it up on the computer and sending it to you.I scanned the typewritten pages from Mr. Wilkinson and then corrected the mistakes the scanner made.I tried to leave everything the way it was, even obvious mistakes.
Mr. Wilkinson is a descendant of Lewis Jones’ half sister, child of his father’s second wife.My ggg grandmother was Lewis’sister Eleanor, “Neley” who married Jesse Garland.
I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who connects in any way with any of the people in these memoirs.
COMMENTS ON THE LEWIS JONES HISTORY [by William Wilkinson]
Lewis Jones was the son of John Jones and Mary Pitzer. John was the son of Samuel Jones and Elizabeth Reaves. Mary Pitzer, the mother of Lewis, was the daughter of Joseph Pitzer and Eleanor Slack. Lewis apparently was quite old when he put together his history. He died in 1918 at the age of 90 years.
I have not seen the original handwritten history, only a carbon copy of a typewritten version.I have re-typed this and the attached is a copy.
The names, times, and places seem to be correct in the main with a few important exceptions.My investigations, coupled with those of others, has added measurably to this memo of Lewis'.However, the importance of a memo such as this cannot be over stated.
When Lewis speaks of his grandfather he is refering to Samuel Jones.Samuel's father, the great-grandfather, he “understands it came from Wales in a very early day" . It is John who was the chairmaker and in the War of 1812. (Samuel was in the Revolutionary War.)
When Lewis refers to "Samuel" Pitzer as his mother's father, he seems to have been confused between grandfathers.Samuel Jones and Joseph Pitzer.It is my belief, shared by other Pitzer genealogists, that this Mary Pitzer was the daughter of Joseph Pitzer and Eleanor Slack who were married in Mason county, Kentucky, 9 September 1793.Their known children were:
Mary,b 16 March 1794, Kentucky; mar John Jones.
Jacob,b 1790-1800; mar Almeda Rexford.
Catherine, mar. Madison Collins.
Daughter (? Margaret, mar Joseph Harrison).
Christopher, b 6 March 1806, Ohio; mar Matilda Harrison.
John Jones was preceded into Warren county, Indiana, by two of his wife's uncles, Jonathan and Solomon Pitzer.Solomon had a son named Samuel and a daughter named Mary, among other children. This Samuel Pitzer spent his early life in Warren county and moved to Wisconsin after 1850.His sister, Mary, first married George Simmons and later became the second wife of John Jones.Thus, the two Mary Pitzers were actually first cousins.It is not surprising that Lewis became a little confused.
I have not been able to locate Samuel Jones’ grave site.I have visited Brown county and located the site of the Poor Farm and numerous of the nearby cemeteries.It may be an unmarked grave.
William C. Wilkinson
55 Littlebrook Road North
Princeton, NJ, 08540
For the satisfaction of some of the connection I undertake to write a little history of our ancestry.
To begin, this is all from what I learned from my parents and my own memory, nothing to go by, so if I make a few mistakes you must not criticize, especially me being as many think in my dotage; no doubt I am but I will try to write nothing but what I believe to be strictly true as my memory serves me.
My Great-Grandfather as I understand it came from Wales in a very early day, I know nothing of his history, even to my own Grandfather.As I learned from my Gtandfather settled in Mason County, Kentucky, end lived there until my Father was about fifteen years old, he married there. My Grandmother’s maiden name was Reaves, I never saw her. They raised eleven children, 11 to Maturity, my Father, the oldest of the family, namely: John, Acy, Elija, Tarpley, Samuel, Lewis, Wesley and Stephen, three sisters, Nancy Ann, Caty as she was called and Matilda.I never saw but three of my Fathers brothers since I was old enough to remember anything, and two of the sisters. I think all married and raised families, the youngest one son only. I have been to her house a number of times in Ohio, she and two of the Brothers are the only ones who ever visited this country, all lived in Brown County, Ohio, I think, until they were married.Some scattered off to different places, some stayed there and for all I know some of their descendents are there still. I am the only one of my Fathers family that ever got back there.
When young I was back there three times, I will speak further of some of my visits hereafter.
My Grandfather Jones I never saw after I was old enough to recollect, after my Grandmother died he lived with his children until he died. I saw his grave and passed the ground a number of times while I was there.
While there I was shown his chair he used to sit on.I think my Father made it, it was what was called a “Split-bottomed Chair" such as he used to make when he was young, even after we same to this country they were not quite so stylish as some of the chairs of today but was enjoyed just as much.After I got big enough I have helped peel hickory bark and bottom chairs myself, he never made any to sell that I recollect. We had a log stop and turning lathe on which he turned the posts and rungs.I cannot describe these but they answered the
purpose. He never learned any trade but could make almost anything out of wood as many others had to do. Many times he got hides tanned, made into leather as many others did and made our own shoes.He was in the War of l812 as a substitute for a drafted man, was taken prisoner at Detroit in Hull's Surrender. Hull was arrested as almost all know, Court Martialed and condemned to be shot and afterward was pardoned.
My Mother’s maiden name was Mary Pitzer and of Dutch descent as the name implies. Her Father’s name was Samuel Pitzer, I never saw him as he lived and died in Ohio, Brown County, where my Mother was born and raised.
There were two brothers and three sisters in the family.My Grandmother’s maiden name was Eleanor Slack, also of Dutch descent.My Mother's oldest brother's name was Jacob Christopher Pitzer, I never saw, I cannot tell much about him, He died when a young man, I think in Ohio.My Mother's oldest sister’s name was Catherine or Caty as she was always called.She married a man named Madison Collins who was with General Harrison when he was stationed at Vincennes and marched to the Tippecanoe Battle Ground, was in that battle and was badly wounded.In October 1811, on their way from Vincennes they crossed Big Pine Creek about one and one-half miles below what is now Rainsville, at what used to be called the old Army Ford, about one half mile below what is now Rocky Ford and camped for the night on the East side of the Creek, Indians watching every movement from every quarter, he claimed to be a second cousin to President
Madison of which I have not a doubt, he was a very truthful man, but like many others of that day would take a little too much Corn Juice.He was one of the first to settle in Benton County and soon after my Father came here in 1839, he built a cabin on what has been called for a great many years, the old Buckles farm, a little less than a quarter of a mile from where my father built his first cabin.
My Father's cabin was built or put up in the Spring of 1830, twenty feet square of nice straight logs and for a while but one door, a small window with a fire-place, would allow six foot wood and a back log two and one-half feet in diameter. Wood was no object in those days as it was in the way.I don't know where my father got them but he got them, three sawed poplar boards for a door, the first of the kind I ever saw.When he cut out another door he sawed out boards long enough for the height of the door and shaved them smooth to make the second door in the house.The cracks between the logs were filled with wooden pieces, split to suit the cracks as near as possible and covered with mortar on the outside, there was no glass or sash to be had for quite a while, but he finally got both for a 12 light window and put it in, which was a great improvement.As soon as he could he built another cabin in the same yard close by the eaves, not more than about ten feet apart and the next winter
taught the first school in it ever taught in this part of the country. I have heard him say he never went so school but one winter in his life but studied at home and got to be a fair scholar for them days.He taught one or two terms in Ohio before coming here. That house was the church for many years, people sat on benches split out like flat rails and dressed off a little with a drawing knife. In time of church which was held there in old circuit rider times for many years and many gatherings.
My Father and Mother had ten children, the oldest Samuel end Elizabeth died when young; Eleanor, Louise, Nancy Ann, John Harvey, Sarah, Lewis, Tarpley, Mary, all eight lived to maturity.My Mother died September 20th, 1851. My Father lived up to September 20th, 187l. He leaked from September 20th to November 12th, of being 80 years old when he died.In April 1657 he married his second wife, the same name of my mothers, they were second cousins, by whom he had five children, Charles, Clary, Thomas J., Milton, and an infant unnamed.
I never in all my life heard him swear an oath or use any profane language, he certainly was an exemplary man, he never belonged to Church.He would never even allow wood chopped on Sunday, it must invariably be prepared on Saturday. He believed strictly in punctuality and promptness, a liar, he had not a bit of use for, he was charitable to his own detriment.He would not say "No” many times when he ought to, he would discommode himself many times when he ought not have done it, for others.He would wrong no one if he knew it, but if he thought he was lo the right you might as well undertake to remove a mountain.He was Justice of the Peace for many years, almost from the time he came to the country.It was a common remark there never was an appeal taken to the Court from his docket, that his decision was never reversed.He was well posted in history, both ancient and modern, had many books when he died, his memory was thought to be wonderful by all that knew him.He could not get up and made a speech, he never would.He could converse with anybody on almost any subject and was highly respected by all.In 1835 the McConnell's moved to the neighborhood from down by Covington, close by.There were four brothers, all bachelors, their old Mother and one sister, one of them married a close neighbor girl about a year after they had formerly lived in Highland County, Ohio, not a great ways from where we come from in Brown County.The old lady wanted to go back to Ohio on a visit, the only way of traveling in them days was in a covered wagon or horseback.The McConnell's had good horses and plenty of good stock of every kind.The old lady proposed to my Mother to take a visit back. They would go past where all our folks lived, leave her there, go on, take their visit and come back and get her.The old lady was then about 75 years old.The son lately married, was anxious to take his young wife and take them too, also, my mother gladly accepted the proposition. I think this
was in 1837. They went in a two horse covered wagon, then when they could do so my Mother and the old lady got a bed to sleep in and him and his wife slept in the wagon, or if they could not get the bed the old ladies would sleep in the wagon and he and his wife under the wagon. This trip was enjoyed by all. The McConnell's were well to do and fine people. The old lady died not many years after. All married except the oldest of the bachelors, he went to Iowa. Some of his folks moved out there. He came back on a visit, he had gotten very old, he got off the cars at Chariton, Iowa, started to walk from there home, it was quite a distance, and he never got there. He was found dead by the road side, but to return to the history of our folks, my Mother's oldest brother married a girl, Almeda Rexford, a noble woman. I knew her well in after years and they had six children, three boys and three girls. I know almost nothing of the family now. I have learned by chance lately, the youngest boy lives in Fountain County, this State. As I have said before he had but one leg, they lived in different places, I think it was in 1843, they moved to Illinois, west then of Old Middleport on Spring Creek, on a place owned and occupied by two bachelors and their mother, John and Dave Pearce. My Uncle died there in 1844. It was one of the wettest years I ever knew, it was water everywhere, bad crops, no ditching done then, to plow water would follow in the furrow. My Aunt wanted to get back here, streams were all full, no bridges anywhere, it got dryer in the Fall and my Father sent me with a wagon and team to move them back. I was then a little past sixteen years old. I had never been out there, I had been on the Chicago road two years before with my Father as far as where I had to leave that road at Mud Creek. There was nothing but a kind of track, I did not cross Mud Creek, kept this side until I got to Crabapple Grove. There were three families there, the old man Williamson end two sons, Phillip White lived with the old gentleman. I knew of them. John William's wife was a daughter of the old folks, (on second thought I think John William's wife was a sister of Fill White), I knew them. I camped there, tied my horses to the wagon and Fill White, a boy of about my age then, and still lives, slept in the wagon with me. I don't know whether he remembers it or not. I never spoke of it to him. He afterwards married Riller Williams, we have gone to school together. We had plenty of apples that year. Before I started I picked up several bushels of apples to sell, a chance to get a little money. The next morning I crossed Sugar Greek, a little west of the Grove. They had given me my bearings across the prairie. I got to Middleport, a pretty small place then, sold all my apples but had to then take the principal part out in store goods for pay. I crossed Sugar creek ona bridge west of Middleport, stayed with the Pearces. Next morning I loaded up, started back, and camped again at Crabapple Grove and the next day got home, took my Aunt to a cabin on the farm of Dick Armstrong, his wife had died sometime before that and in the course of time these two got married. He was a very good man and she a good woman. He died before many years with a cancer. She moved out West to some of her children and lived as I was told, to be about 93 years old.
My history is much longer than I expected to make it, I do not expect it to be very interesting but I have not seen any stopping Place yet, but will quit after I tell a little more of what has happened.
In l839 my sisters Louisa and Anna married, you know to whom of course. I want to be as brief as possible, in the Spring of 1841, I think, my sister Neley, as she was called was married to Jesse T. Garland, and in the late Fall of 41, my sister_Sarah was married to John Garland as most of you know or at least knew of these marriages. In August my brother John married Nancy Hooker, he lacked from that time to the 30th ofOctober of being 19 years old when first married. They had no children. She only lived a little over two years, I do not remember about the exact dates. He next married Hannah Pew
Mercer in December 1844. She had one son by her first man, William Mercer was his name. He went to the war as you all know, got sick, came home and died. You know the results of their marriage as well as I can tell you and of their death. You also know about the history and career of my brother Tarpley, of his having been gone. He got back to his daughter Anna Peytons in Gridley, California and died July 12th, 1912. My sister Mary married Thomas Jennings in the Fall of 1853, they were cousins. They had one girl. He died in 1854. In that Fall I took her to Ohio to see her or rather his folks. She stayed until the next spring. My Father's youngest sister, then a widow with a little boy, came with her. This was her first visit to this country. Her name was Matilda Snedaker, at that time, I do not call to mind her dead husbands first name. I never saw him, she did not like to go home alone so I went back home with her as I had not to liking the relations back there, that was in 1855. I was then about 25 years old, I was then a single men. I had made up my mind not to marry until I had got a little ahead to go on so I will give you a little history of myself. In the year I was twenty, my Father let me have a piece of ground for myself. I sowed it in wheat, I had a fair crop but it was only a small patch. He was a cripple, had one leg cut off in '44. I remember it well, it was in December of that year, none of the family saw the operation. We did not want to. A number of the neighbors were there, it was at home. An Uncle of my brother John's second wife, Dr. Smith, from Rainsville was the surgeon, Dr. Buell from Williamsport assisted. He took nothing, as they told me to allay the pain. They expected to have to have men hold him but to their surprise they did not need even one. It took about thirty minutes after he was laid on the table and they said he hardly cringed, after they had it almost tied up, he did not know that the leg was off but asked the Drs. if they were not going to cut any more soon and get done. They told him it was all about done, he claimed he could feel his toes hurting then. In just two months the last of the wound was healed over. It was talked of as being the most remarkable thing of its kind on record. I stayed at home end helped him until the year '50.
I never was robust like my brother John, he was big and strong and a much larger man. I tell this circumstance to let you all know what never he had. In '42 he and I went to Chicago. He had never been there up to that time, went or started with two of the neighbors, Wm. Hooker and Harvey Robbins all loaded with wheat before we got there, I suppose there was at least twenty teams all in a string. John had been there twice previous, once with an ox-team, two yoke of cattle and once with a horse team. We got for the wheat, I remember yet, $.60 a bushel. I would not have given at that time much for Chicago.
It was a swamp, not a sidewalk or much else. There were some Indians. The Old Fort Dearborn had not all disappeared. In the year '50 I cropped with John Garland. My brother John made his first purchase of land, I went with him. We went horseback to Milford, then to Danville where he made his entry, then home. I helped haul everything out there to build in ‘51, helped him move. That was the year my mother died. He was out there at work when she died and we had to send for him. She was not sick long. I helped out a lot of wild hay and got it in stacks before he moved. While there, there came two men who had been to Iowa buying a drove of cattle, they had about 225.I was well acquainted with one of them, they were going to drive to White County, rest and graze them while and then drive them to Ohio and wanted to know if I did not want to take a trip and help. I went that Fall and Helped drive those cattle into Madison County, Ohio. It was about two days ride on horse- back to where I was born, I made up my mind to go there before I went back home. I went, found many relatives, had a good time and then rode home alone. I thought it a long trip. My Mother having just died that Fall, they were glad to see me get back. My Father had been elected County Assesser, had one more year to serve. He told the Commissioners he would resign as he could not leave home to do the work, they insisted on his holding on. I was 23 years old, he consented, if they were willing for me to do all except what he could do and be at home nights, he would keep the office, they were willing to have me do that, he told me of the arrangement. I did not like to undertake it. I thought if I had to try to convince some men where they were not satisfied with my work, being young, they would think me impertinent, but he insisted and I gave in. I commenced on the very first day of January 1852. Did the work without trouble and it was the best winter's schooling I ever had. Everybody appeared to be satisfied. I did the work in a month less time than anybody had ever done it and the next year they changed the law and made township assessors. I have got a little ahead of what I had intended. My Mother had two uncles who had settled near Rainsville in an early day. I don’t know just what year they came, one Solomon Pitzer lived just across the Creek north of that place. He had bought land and made some improvements. He and his wife had seven children, three boys and four girls, the two old folks lived but a few years after my folks came here. My Father was appointed guardian of all the children, until they became of age. The other Jonathan Pitzer
bought up the Creek toward where Pine Village now is. They too, died and left two boys, Joseph and Martin. Father was also appointed guardian for them. My Father also had two Uncles over in Montgomery County, come in an early day. Their names were Asa and Paul Reeves, they lived near what is now Waynetown, both died long ago. I only saw one of them and he moved out on the Iroquois, the other, Asa, died where he first settled.I have been at his old home once after he died. I saw there a great curiosity to me, it was a fanning mill to clean grain in his old barn that he had made himself long ago. It showed great ingenuity, it had not a nail in it, it was entirely made of wood except the riddles, they of course were of wire. The cog wheels were all wood, it was in perfect running order. You could pick it up the same as any other fanning mill and move it around. This son, George Reeves lived there then, it was long ago, I was a young man then. it was a wonderful curiosity to me at that time. It was all put up with wooden pins in place of nails.
Once when in Ohio I had a visit to my Grandfather's old farm, I had a cousin there on the farm; he had bought it. I had two girls with me, both cousins to me, they were also cousins to each other. The youngest, about sixteen, a romping happy girl as one almost ever meets, the County Poor Farm was only about a mile from there. Her father had run it or lived there one or two years. She asked me to go with her to see the people there. It was Sunday morning, we three went together. Her name was Polly Jones, there were about twenty-five or thirty poor there. As soon as the people saw her they came running from every quarter to her crying, "Blessed Polly", old and young, we could hardly get to the house for it was "Blessed Polly" all the time we were there. It spoke volumes to me for her. They were loath to see her leave and followed her to the gate crying "Blessed Polly". When young, I was a boy as other boys, though rather bashful, yet loved fun of innocent kind. When about sixteen the boys all or nearly so, had to have a one horse sleigh to show off with! They were of a very common kind, in winter I made one for myself, a common affair you may suppose, after I got it done there was plenty of snow on the ground, there was to be a Singing School at the schoolhouse. I plucked up courage enough to ask a neighbor girl to go with me that night to Singing School, she was ready to go as most all girls are on such occasions and that night I fixed up in my best, hitched a horse to the grand sleigh, expecting everybody to see me, well, I went after the girl, her father was going to take her younger sister to school also. I started first, they behind. There was a log in front of the schoolhouse door, plenty of room between the log end the door, I wanted to make a show and help her out right at the door, it was getting a little dusk, I struck the log with the sled, the side which she was sitting on the sled, turned over towards the house. I did not get to help her out, she did not wait for me. I went out flat on my back, she right after me and
she rolled clear over me, almost into the school-house door.Well, that was fun for all but me, nobody hurt and no damage done. We got back home. They had a lunch ready when we got back to the house and we went in and sat down to lunch.Her Father said in a dry way, "Well, I got to see Martha waller Lewis in the snow anyhow".That was my last show for that winter. While I am at it I will tell of one more little happening, I loved fun pretty well and liked to have fun with the girls. When about 23 years old, I had a nice team of sorrel mares, good wagon and harness, well, I would take my sister Mary once in a while of a Sunday, gather up a load of girls, no trouble, and get out and take a ride. That next winter I got me a nice strong sled, made to haul anything I wanted to haul. One Sunday morning, I put my wagonbed on the sled, had my sister Mary get in the sleigh, it was fine. I got one boy in with me and just as many girls as could pile in, we took quite a round.Crossed the Creek, as it was frozen over good and strong. The girls got to thinking it would be such fun to have an upset, I was a little shy but thought I would give them a little scare. The ice on the Creek was a little lower than the bank, so I drove to the edge of the bank, turned the horses heads a little to one side, turned the side of the sled and the whole load went out on the ice all piled up in one pile, girls hollering end getting up and falling down. I was on my guard for fear of trouble with the horses, lit on my feet, nobody hurt but ready to pull my hair and scratch my eyes out. They looked like a bunch of fat hogs wallowing on the ice and trying to get up, of course I was very innocent, sorry for them and for my carelessness but went home full paid in the way of fun for all of my trouble. This is the way we had in place of automobiles and buggies and such. I tell this for the benefit of the youngsters who think we had no fun, they do not know what fun is now, but to convince all of the girls of my innocence was like the old saying, “Convince a man against his will he is of the same opinion",Still though I could tell of many little diversions, I will let them pass and try to get through with what I started to do. I have left many things untold no doubt which would be interesting to some and no doubt told things of some interest to many. I never thought of writing or trying to write out such a thing in my old days. I did not marry until April 25th, 1857. [It was typewritten 1863, the 6 was crossed out and 1857 written in the margin] I was married to Margaret King Brown, that was her name, (I was near 28, she 22) she was a poor girl, made her own living working by the week. She was highly respected, a noble girl, always went well dressed and in good company, of a respectable family. We did not get to live together long, she became very unhealthy and died June 12th, 1663, leaving me with two children to care for. On the 12th day of January '63 I married Rebecca Bunahee, a widow, and no children ever had a better step-mother. They never knew anything but good treatment from her. You know the fruits of that marriage, she died March 4th, 1897. I have had many ups and downs in my life, more downs than ups, am getting old, it seems to me almost past the days of
usefulness. I did not expect to write half as much as I have, when I commenced. It seems to ms I could write a whole book.Have written many things far more strange but true. I have been here when the Indians camped within a half mile of our house, one neighbor a mile away, no other less than two and a half, except the Indians, but in less than two years there were neighbors all around me. I know of no one anywhere that has been here as long as I have. Almost all my associates when young are dead and gone and I am here. I can hardly believe it so, yet it is true. I have written this long preamble not without some satisfaction to myself, as it has brought some very pleasant memories to my mind, also it has brought some sad events as well. My vision is poor, my hand unsteady, so you must not expect all perfection as it does not belong to anyone but be to my faults a little kind and to my wishes very kind.
Best wishes to all, I close
"To his Friends and Relatives adieu to all."